Defecating-Area-boy-NaijaWaterAid Nigeria Country Representative, Dr. Michael Ojo has said 121 million people representing about 72per cent of Nigeria’s population do not have basic toilet to use and nearly 40 million still defecate in the open.

This lack of access to basic sanitation, Ojo said, harmed the health of children and often leaves a lifetime legacy of disease and poverty.

The Country Representative, who gave the statistics during a recent high level media round table breakfast to commemorate World Toilet Day in Abuja, noted that the theme of this year’s World toilet day, which is ‘Quality and Dignity’ could not have come at a better time than now.

He said: “Those children need our government to collectively step up and commit that by 2030 no home, no hospital or school will be without a toilet and clean water.”

According to him, the open letter to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, coincides with a new briefing released by WaterAid: ‘Child of Mine’ which states that sanitation ‘remains one of the most neglected issues in developing countries and international development aid’.

“This is despite a quarter of the 162 million children globally who have had their growth stunted and their physical and cognitive development impaired, because they suffered repeated bouts of diarrhea when very young”, he stated.

Meanwhile, according to the World Health Organisation, WHO, 88per cent of cases of diarrhea are caused by lack of access to basic sanitation, unsafe drinking water and poor hygiene provision.

Globally, over 12 million children are estimated to have died from 2000 to 2013 because of diarrhea diseases, of these deaths, 10.6 million have been as a result of a lack of these services.

WaterAid Nigeria, therefore called on the government to commit to becking a new goal for everyone to have access to clean water and basic sanitation by 2030.

In his correspondence to WaterAid, the Executive Director of Nigeria’s National Primary Health Development Agency, Dr. Ado Mohammed noted that, “poor sanitation, hygiene and lack of clean water contributes to the deplorable health conditions especially among children and women in Nigeria.

In view of this and the goal of Federal Government to eradicate transmission of the Wild Poliovirus in Nigeria at the end of the year, Ado stressed that polio is an oral feacal disease thriving under poor hygiene and sanitation conditions as well as an unavailability of clean water sources,

“We lend our voice to the call for universal access to water, sanitation and hygiene”, he said. -ThisaDayLive


VALENTINES_DAYNigerians today join the rest of the world to mark Valentine’s Day season of love activities, the National Agency for the Control of AIDS, NACA, has called for caution against activities that could heighten the risk of contracting HIV/AIDS and other Sexually Transmitted Infections, STIs.

 

Love1Making the call in Abuja, Director General of the Agency, Professor John Idoko, recognised Valentine Day as a period where gratitude of love is demonstrated between individuals through gestures of affection such as flowers, perfumes, cloths among other gift items.

 

His words: “Valentine Day as good as it may be, has however, brought up a worrisome aspect festering this celebration of love season. This is the high rate of indiscriminate sexual and other negative activities which are perpetrated on this day leading to uninformed decision making among adolescents.

 

“In our quest to actualise a generation free from HIV/AIDS, NACA is advising that at this season of love, Nigerians should make informed decisions about their sexual engagements in order to halt the spread of the virus.”

 

Reminding Nigerians on the need to be principled and to abstain, or indulge only in protected sex at this period of love sharing. Idoko remarked that consumption of alcohol had become a worrisome aspect and catalyst in the spread of HIV/AIDS among sexual active partners.

 

“Either good or bad, alcohol intake does influence an individual’s judgments and perceptions. It is widely observed that drinking alcohol leads to increased risky sexual behaviour, like not using protection to prevent HIV/AIDS, or having sex that you will regret you had.

 

“As we celebrate love at this period of Valentine Day, it is good to note that safe sex is not just about protecting oneself, but however protecting those we love. As a nation, we must all come together with our partners and loved ones to discuss HIV/AIDS epidemic and above all get tested, he said.“

 

VANGUARD

 

fight against breast cancerThe Founder /Chief Executive, The Pink Pearl Foundation, Mrs. Orode Okpu has stated that her outfit is offering free breast cancer screening and consultation for 500 women in Lagos as part of activities to mark October as World Breast cancer awareness month.

In a statement made available to THISDAY, Okpu explained that the provision of the free breast cancer screening and consultation at two select locations on the mainland, and on the island, was designed to encourage people to exercise regularly, and help them see how they can reduce their risk of developing breast cancer.

The free breast cancer screening and consultation would take place at the two locations in Ikeja and Lekki Phase 1. The screenings would take place simultaneously from 9:00am-4:00pm.

An estimated 20,000 breast cancer cases are recorded in Nigeria annually and The Pearl Foundation, a public service charity organisation, has taken the lead in the sensitization drive against it.

The event is part of the “October 2013 Pink Ride” holding on October 12 from 8:00am – 2:00pm and will be flagged off by wife of the Lagos State Governor, Mrs. Abimbola Fashola.
She said in the statement that during the event, professional cyclists from the Life Style Cycling Club, Port Harcourt, would ride through a mapped-out route in Lagos.

The mapped-out route is from Ikeja-Oshodi-Festac- Surulere- Victoria Island- Lekki- Ikoyi- Marina-3rd Mainland Bridge- Ikeja.

“With evidence that exercising regularly reduces the risk of breast cancer, there have been attempts at encouraging the habit over the years. Essentially, riding a bicycle is a form of exercise with numerous other health benefits as well, such as releasing stress, increasing balance, endurance, and stability, burning calories, and increasing cardiovascular fitness (good heart condition); amongst many others,” she said.

Okpu said the four objectives behind the Pink Ride Lagos initiative are: “We are aiming at reaching at least 18 million Lagosians with the message of early detection of breast cancer; helping them understand the reality of this killer-disease, and the need to be breast aware, and be proactive about it.

“Keeping fit is very important. Breast cancer is a sad phenomenon. Pink Ride Lagos is our fun, happy and interesting way of bringing the message of life to as many as we can reach.”
She stated further that unlike past rides, interested individuals could join the ride by paying N5,000. This fee, she added, gives them a place on the cycling team, a cycling jersey, and refreshment during the ride.

In a related event, an oncologist from the Diamond Helix Hospital, Lagos, Dr. Vivian Mbaba has urged women to embrace periodic screening to reduce the burden of breast cancer, which is the second leading cause of death in women.

Speaking in a lecture and screening at the Liberty House, Evangel Pentecostal Church, Lekki, Mbaba said about 80 percent of breast cancers occur in women older than 50 years. Therefore, he advised women not to trivialise any lump on their breasts even thoughnot all lumps are cancerous.

She listed causes of cervical cancer to include having multiple sexual partners; giving birth before the age of 17 years, smoking as well as contracting other sexually-transmitted diseases pre-dispose victims to the disease.

The coordinator of the Foundation, Miss Anita Ajoku advised women to go for the screening and not to be terrified as people always believed that the cost of screening is expensive.

aidsTHE Lagos State Government, yesterday. disclosed that 9,660 residents of the state tested positive to HIV virus of the 102,279 patients examined in the last one year.

The government also said 431 healthcare facilities across the state would be shut for contravening the state healthcare standards.

The state government, however, said it was impossible to guarantee total free healthcare services for the over 18 million residents of the state, noting: “There is no adequate fund to provide the services.”

Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, who disclosed these during the 2013 ministerial briefing on the activities of his ministry to commemorate the sixth year of Governor Babatunde Fashola’s administration, said to prevent the increase in HIV virus, the state government through the Lagos State AIDS Control Agency, LASACA, distributed 520,000 male and female condoms across the state.

The commissioner also saidthe state government has established HIV/AIDS counselling and testing centres in health facilities across the state, a measure to check the prevalence of the scourge within the state.

He explained: “These centres provide clients with all they need on HIV/AIDS, counselling, treatment and others. It is another of our strategy, among so many to check the problem.”

Kidnapping”ll end in Lagos soon, govt assures

Meantime, the state government, yesterday, assured residents that cases of kidnapping and terrorism would end very soon in the state.

Special Adviser to Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State,on Political and Legislative and Power Bureau, Mr. Teslim Folami, gave the assurance during the 2013 ministerial briefing on the activities of his ministry to commemorate the sixth year of the governor’s administration.

Folami said it was very unfortunate that such cases were beginning to be noticed in the state, rated as the safest in West Africa.

He said: “We realised that corruption cases, extra-judicial killing and others were increasing daily. And when one walks or drives in the street, you will be panicking not to be kidnapped.

“We know that it is the sole responsibility of the Federal Government to address such cases but since they are not forthcoming, the Lagos State government will not sit back and watch its citizens kidnapped.

“That was why we have sent the anti-terrorism bill to the state House of Assembly for passage into law and immediately it is passed, cases of kidnapping would be nipped in the bud.”